Runza/AVCA Showcase Tickets on sale now!
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2009) - The American Volleyball Coaches Association is pleased to announce the field of teams and the ticket sale date for the 2009 Runza/AVCA College Volleyball Showcase, to be played August 28-29 at the Qwest Center in Omaha, Neb.
The Conference Challenge format that was unveiled last year will continue in 2009, with host school Nebraska as well as Kansas State representing the Big 12 Conference. Michigan and Minnesota, both from the Big Ten Conference, will be the Big 12 challengers.
Tickets to the event will go on sale to the general public Monday, April 13 at 10 a.m. CDT, exclusively through Qwest Center Omaha and Ticketmaster. All-session ticket prices are $39 and $32.
"Our goal with the Showcase is to kickoff the volleyball season with elite teams battling in an electric environment," said AVCA Executive Director, Kathy DeBoer. "The Big 12 and Big Ten give us two of the best leagues, the Qwest Center in Omaha gives us the best venue, and Runza gives us the best partner. All in all, this is a premier event!"
For the first time in its history, last year's Showcase was played in a Conference Challenge format, as Nebraska, Texas, Southern California and Stanford launched the 2008 season with four exceptionally high-level matches. Three of those four teams rode the momentum of the opening weekend back to the Qwest Center in December for the national semifinals.
Under the Conference Challenge format, each school plays the two teams from the other conference, and does not play the other school from its own league.
From the Big 12, last year's Nebraska team, which had lost four AVCA All-Americans from the 2007 squad, reached its third national semifinals in the last four years, and won a share of its fifth consecutive league championship. The Huskers will be participating in their eighth Showcase. Kansas State finished third in the Big 12 for the second consecutive year, behind only Nebraska and Texas, and won at least 20 matches for the 12th time in 14 years. The Wildcats will play in their second Showcase, having last played at the 2003 event in Hawai'i.
Representing the Big Ten, Michigan and Minnesota are two of the elite teams in one of the nation's toughest conferences. Michigan reached the round of 16 for the second consecutive season in 2008, in its sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament in seven years. The Wolverines will be playing in their first Showcase. Minnesota has been to the NCAA Tournament each of the last ten seasons, highlighted by a national semifinal appearance in 2004, and has finished in the top three of the Big Ten in each of the past seven seasons. The Golden Gophers will be competing in their third Showcase.
All four teams were ranked in each of the 2008 regular season Bison/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Polls. Five returning AVCA All-Americans, all only sophomores a year ago, highlight the team rosters.
Qwest Center Omaha will welcome its fourth Showcase in 2009. The venue, which played host to an NCAA-record crowd of 17,430 during last year's national semifinals, has also hosted the four highest-attended Showcase sessions in the 14 years the event has been played.
Although match-ups have been set, match order and times have not. On Friday, August 28 Nebraska will square off with Michigan, and Kansas State will battle Minnesota. On Saturday, August 29, Minnesota will tangle with Nebraska and Kansas State will face off with Michigan. Tickets for the 2009 Runza/AVCA College Volleyball Showcase will go on sale to the general public Monday, April 13 at 10 a.m. CDT, exclusively through Qwest Center Omaha and Ticketmaster.
Contact Qwest Center Omaha by telephone at (402) 341-1500, or on the Web at http://www.qwestcenteromaha.com/. To order tickets through Ticketmaster, go to http://www.ticketmaster.com/.
The AVCA, with its headquarters in Lexington, Ky., is managed by IMG Associations. The mission of the AVCA is to develop and grow the sport of volleyball; with a membership of over 4,900 and counting, the AVCA provides a professional network for those individuals and companies dedicated to enhancing and developing the sport. Members are comprised of national and international coaches, collegiate, high school, club, youth and Olympic coaches, as well as club directors. Other members include former players, officials, media members and other friends of volleyball. As a group, the AVCA is committed to the development, growth, advancement and publicity of volleyball throughout the world. Further information is available at http://www.avca.org/.
- AVCA -